Diachronic Emergence as Transubstantiation

Philosophia 51 (3):1745-1762 (2023)
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Abstract

Diachronic emergence has recently been characterised as transformation. This aims to capture the thought that the entities that emerge are radically new or different. Transformation is hence closely linked with a central (but rarely raised) challenge for all emergentists: how to account for the identity and individuation of entities involved in emergence. With this challenge in view, I develop and probe four interpretations of transformation: addition, replacement, fusion, and transubstantiation. Of those, transubstantiation provides the most plausible response to the challenge about identity. Accordingly, diachronic emergence is a transformative process whereby an individual passes from one primary kind to another.

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